When we are focused on the physical and emotional needs of caring for a child with on-going health problems we tend to neglect ourselves..
Running a home, looking after a family, running between appointments, continually being on call and never getting a full nights sleep is overwhelming and it hinders my ability to care consistently.
Self-care is an essential part of being a carer.
I realised that I was neglecting myself and that I desperately needed support so that I could better care for my family so I referred myself for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
The key idea behind CBT is that: what we think and do affects the way we feel.
My therapist helped me to find the things that were keeping me 'stuck' and gave me techniques to break the vicious cycles. She helped me to write a list of all the things that made me feel good. I then scheduled 'me time' into my diary.
Of course, the nature of caring means it can be I almost impossible to get to appointments and to do self care but when I did make time I found the techniques hugely beneficial.
These are some of the changes I made;
I take our dog for a run or walk every morning. Admittedly I have to get up at 5:15 but this exercise keeps me emotionally stable. It also means that I can have a shower and a cup of coffee on my own before the day starts - I love this hour.
At the end of the day I escape to bed with a book and then I close my eyes and I do some breathing exercises, apparently your not meant to meditate in bed incase you fall asleep - thats actually the bit I like so this is my own form of mindfulness!
Once a week Stephen and I schedule in a walk. I find it difficult to break away from my 'to do list' but these moments alone with Stephen are fun and so necessary.
I have also made the most of free courses set up by Carers UK
I learnt to be more assertive - ongoing work....
I have done a mindfulness Course and a Wellbeing Course.
There are some great things out there and they are free!
What makes you feel good? And can you share your resources?